Chapter 2. Emerging JavaScript

Since its release in 1995, JavaScript has gone through many changes. At first, it made adding interactive elements to web pages much simpler. Then it got more robust with DHTML and AJAX. Now, with Node.js, JavaScript has become a language that is used to build full-stack applications. The committee that is and has been in charge of shepherding the changes to JavaScript is the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA).

Changes to the language are community-driven. They originate from proposals that community members write. Anyone can submit a proposal to the ECMA committee. The responsibility of the ECMA committee is to manage and prioritize these proposals in order to decide what is included in each spec. Proposals are taken through clearly defined stages, from stage 0, which represents the newest proposals, up through stage 4, which represents the finished proposals.

The most recent major update to the specification was approved in June 20151 and is called by many names: ECMAScript 6, ES6, ES2015, and ES6Harmony. Based on current plans, new specs will be released on a yearly cycle. The 2016 release was relatively small, but it already looks like ES2017 will include quite a few useful features. We’ll be using many of these new features in the book and will opt to use emerging JavaScript whenever possible.

Many of these features are already supported by the newest browsers. We will also be covering how to convert your code from emerging JavaScript ...

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